Physical Education & Health

Michelle Ferris is Mardsen's Head of Department - Health and Physical Education, teacher of Year 7-13 Health and Physical Education, and she is a staff member of Swainson-Riddiford house.


Michelle has been teaching for 15 years. She came to Marsden in 2017 from Aotea College where she was the Assistant Head of Department for Health and Physical Education and Year 9 Dean. Originally from Whangaparaoa, Michelle attended Orewa College then Massey University in Palmerston North earning a conjoint Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Secondary Health and Physical Education. She also spent four years overseas traveling and teaching in London and Dubai.

Focusing on Hauora/Wellbeing

As head of Marsden’s Health and Physical Education department Michelle is responsible for teaching Year 7-13 Health and PE, which includes NCEA Levels 1-3, and Life Skills Health. She has also coached netball and Ki-O-Rahi and managed the touch rugby teams.


In Health and Physical Education, the focus is on personal wellbeing, the wellbeing of others, and the wellbeing of society as a whole. The teaching team promotes healthy living focusing on the four dimensions of Hauora/wellbeing: we help students develop self-management, teamwork and leadership skills, as well as teaching SMART goal setting.

'Don't sweat the small stuff'

Michelle has just finished serving for four years on the NZ Health Education Association Executive Committee, where she ran the Ministry of Education’s day long training courses sharing her expertise and knowledge specific to Health and Physical Educations, produced resources for use in various schools and organisations, advocated for the subject and organised professional development meetings.


Michelle is married to Shaun and they have two young boys, Ryan and Jackson. When she isn’t at Marsden she loves playing netball and tennis, spending time with friends, running, volunteering and baking. Michelle’s top five character strengths are Fairness, Forgiveness, Teamwork, Leadership and Zest; and one of her life mottos is “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”